In the wake of the epidemic there is heightened attention to all respiratory virus. RSV is one that has been around as long as we know and poses a serious threat to young children and to some extent to the elderly. As I have said multiple times, isolating our children during the epidemic was terrible for their immune system development and the harsher than usual RSV wave is a result of those actions. What we see now is a wave three times higher than in any previous year.
- This post is our first examination of RSV hospitalization data for Minnesota available from the CDC. Data can be viewed on the CDC RSV-NET Interactive Dashboard (https://www.cdc.gov/rsv/
research/rsv-net/dashboard. html) and downloaded from the dataset page (https://data.cdc.gov/Case- Surveillance/Weekly-Rates-of- Laboratory-Confirmed-RSV- Hospitali/29hc-w46k). Data is available starting from the week ending 9/30/2018 through the week ending 11/13/2022. It is important to note that only 58 counties in 12 states, including Minnesota, participate in the CDC’s RSV surveillance program. The exact coverage in Minnesota is unknown. Because this data is only taken from a small number of counties the actual RSV hospitalization rates may differ from those shown in these charts. Hopefully this data at least gives a reasonable representation of the overall trends in RSV hospitalization.
- Fig. 1, Minnesota Overall Population RSV Hospital Admissions Per 100k Per Week, 2018-2019 Through 2022-2023 Season: The current 2022-2023 RSV season is shown in bright red. The chart starts with MMWR Week 27 (end of June) and ends with MMWR Week 26 (third week in June). This centers the winter season on the chart, when the peak in RSV infections typically occurs. We can see that RSV hospitalizations in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 were almost identical, peaking in mid-December to mid-January. The 2021-2022 RSV season was almost completely absent of hospitalizations, with RSV hospitalizations starting in early summer 2021 and continuing on to the Fall of 2022 where the highest peak of hospitalizations occurred. Unless the CDC revises the recent data, the peak on hospitalizations occurred recently on MMWR Week 43 (10/23/2022) and Week 45 (11/06/2022). We should wait a few weeks to make sure the data doesn’t get revised before the peak is declared.
- Fig. 1 through Fig. 6, Minnesota RSV Hospital Admissions Per 100k Per Week, by Age Group, 2018-2019 Season Through 2022-2023 Season: In contrast to the charts we have posted on influenza (for example(https://healthy-
skeptic.com/2022/11/25/ influenza-season/), the majority of hospitalizations for RSV are in the 0-4 age group, shown in bright blue. Only briefly in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 do the 65-74 and 75-84 age groups exceed the overall average, and only by a small amount.